Jul 112014
 

The College of Allied Health Science is strengthening its focus on research through the development of a new Office of Research webpage and newsletter, as well as improving existing research lab websites.

Under the direction of Dr. Heather Harris-Wright, the associate dean of research for the College, the research website underwent a face lift to allow for a more user-friendly look.

“Research within our college well represents the diversity of Allied Health. It is exciting to learn about the breadth of our faculty’s research and I am thrilled to be able to support our faculty as they pursue their research goals, disseminate their research findings, seek and procure funding, develop and strengthen collaborations within the college and across the university, and engage students in their research programs,” said Dr. Wright, “The Office of Research is here to support our faculty and provide the resources and services needed so the faculty can advance their research programs.”

The new site will feature a monthly interview with a research faculty member from the College, this month’s interview subject was Dr. John Willson from the Department of Physical Therapy. Each faculty member will answer the same five questions regarding their research, their experience at East Carolina University, and their passion for teaching.

The site also provides links to useful resources for both faculty and students along with links to important research-related sites within the Univeristy.

Research Page

Along with the website update for the Office of Research, several CAHS research labs beefed up their web presence as well. Links to information on labs such as the Human Movement Analysis Lab in the Department of Physical Therapy, Navigate Counseling Clinic in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, Research for the Adult Driver Initiative in the Department of Occupational Therapy, and the Aging and Adult Language Disorders and Voice and Swallowing Labs in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are all available on the “Research in CAHS” page of the Office of Research website. Through the lab websites, you can learn more about the research topics being analyzed at the College and discover information about publications, facilities and current faculty working in that area.

HMAL lab

the ECU Human Movement Analysis Laboratory website is updated and informative, visit the by clicking this screenshot.

Faculty, staff and students can stay up to date about happenings in the “research world” by not only visiting the Office of Research site, but also through the monthly research update e-newsletter. The newsletter will provide vital information about funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines, resources and highlights from CAHS research developments. If you would like to receive the research update, contact Dr. Wright at wrighth@ecu.edu.

 

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Jul 082014
 

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing continues to produce the most registered nurses in North Carolina and its graduates pass the state nursing exam at a rate above the state average, according to data in a report prepared for the UNC Board of Governors.

The annual tracking report, received by the board at its June 20 meeting, said that 95 percent of the 273 graduates of ECU’s bachelor of science in nursing program who took the state exam in 2013 passed it.

The average state exam passing rate of all 12 UNC system campuses with nursing programs was 90 percent that year. The passing rate of all nursing programs in North Carolina, including those at private colleges and universities, was 85 percent in 2013, the report said.

Enrollment in all UNC nursing programs soared by 31 percent in the past five years, rising from 2,985 in 2009 to 4,212 in 2013, according to the report. Three UNC campuses launched nursing programs in recent years.

With more students in the pipeline, the UNC campuses with nursing programs are graduating 20 percent more RNs now than five years ago, the report said.

But despite the rise in nursing school enrollment, 3,500 nursing jobs remain unfilled across the state, the report said in citing March 2014 employment data.

Across the UNC system, enrollment in master’s degree programs grew from 1,471 to 1,637, or 11 percent, between 2009 and 2013. The number studying for doctoral degrees rose from 119 to 157, or 32 percent, in that time period, according to the report, which is based on data submitted by each campus.

At ECU, enrollment in master’s degree programs grew from 486 to 547 in that five-year period, while enrollment in doctoral programs grew from 31 to 49 in that period, the report said.

The Board of Governors has encouraged growth in enrollment in nursing programs since 2004 when, in conjunction with the N.C. Institute of Medicine, it created the UNC Committee on the Future of Nursing. The committee concluded that graduating more nurses was critical to improving access to health care.

More recently, the Board of Governors green-lighted new master’s and doctoral programs to increase the supply of nurses specially trained to take on more of the health care workload. An example is the doctor of nursing practice degree (DNP) created in 2013 at ECU and five other campuses.

Sylvia Brown, dean of ECU’s College of Nursing, said the DNP program will produce graduates critical to improving health care in the region. She said the program “will help to achieve our mission of improving the health of citizens through the preparation of expert practitioners who deliver primary care in rural areas of the state and assume leadership roles to advance health care delivery.”

The DNP prepares nurses for direct clinical practice and for executive roles in areas that support clinical practice, such as administration, organizational leadership, academics and health policy.

East Carolina’s DNP program coursework is totally online, and clinical practice sites include primary care clinics, hospitals, and public health care agencies. Students are required to attend skills sessions at the College of Nursing several times a year.

Twenty-one students were accepted to the first DNP class in fall 2013. More than half were from eastern North Carolina.

Jul 012014
 

“We had a class several times a week at night given by the Chicago Modeling Agency to teach us manners, how to walk properly, etc. At the time we hated it, but it was useful later.” – Nancy Thar Fiedler

Imagine having to take a modeling class as part of nursing training. As far-fetched as the idea seems in today’s world of theory and clinical-based instruction, Nancy Thar Fiedler, a 1960 graduate of the Evanston Hospital School of Nursing, shares her experience in the new display, “Nursing School Memories: Nursing Education in the Mid-20th Century,” currently on view at East Carolina University’s Family Medicine Center in Greenville.

The exhibit is located on the second floor across from the elevators in the Family Medicine Center, 101 Heart Drive. Memorabilia from Fiedler’s nursing school experience are featured along with objects, photographs and archival documents from the collections of The Country Doctor Museum. The items help tell a story of shared camaraderie of nursing school students as they advanced through rigorous programs marked by enduring traditions, high expectations and long hours.

The exhibit focuses on the history of three-year diploma training programs at local hospitals from 1940-1960. While attending classes, nursing students were scheduled to work in hospital wards and received on-the-job training.

Nursing school traditions including capping ceremonies, the awarding of class pins and lighting of Florence Nightingale lamps which signified students’ progress to graduation. These events occurred at nursing schools across the county and were augmented by banquets and graduation events to form an identity unique to each school of nursing. Caps, Florence Nightingale lamps, invitations and a junior class banquet poster from the Rex School of Nursing in Raleigh (circa 1947-1948) are on view in the exhibit.

By 1960, four-year baccalaureate degree programs were becoming more popular. By the end of the 1970s, most three-year diploma programs had closed and student nurses were pursuing their two or four-year nursing degrees at colleges and universities. An early style of ECU’s nursing uniform, cap and pin design also are on display to highlight the growing difference between hospital and university-based programs. Dr. Frances Eason and Dr. Kathleen Sitzman of ECU’s College of Nursing graciously reviewed the content and scope of the exhibit.

Fiedler considered nursing to be “a profession of dedication” when she entered nursing school in the late 1950s. Many would agree this description is still true today. The Country Doctor Museum invites you to take a few minutes to see this new exhibit in ECU’s Family Medicine Center.

Annie Anderson

The Country Doctor Museum

The Country Doctor Museum, located in Bailey, is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. All tours are guided and available every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Group tours can be arranged. For more information, visit http://www.countrydoctormuseum.org

 

 

 

Jun 272014
 

North Carolina’s Commission for Public Health recently approved a mandate for incoming seventh graders to be vaccinated against meningitis – an infection of the brain or spinal cord – and other meningococcal diseases beginning July 2015. The mandate also includes an additional booster for incoming high school seniors beginning July 2020.

Barring lack of approval by the state’s Rules Review Commission later this month, the new policies will align North Carolina’s policy with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Meningococcal disease is caused by a certain type of bacteria that infects the brain, spinal cord, bloodstream or lungs. Although it’s considered rare – affecting about 3,000 people nationwide every year – it is potentially fatal and extremely expensive to treat.

According to information published by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 10 to 15 percent of those who contract a meningococcal disease die from it. Twenty percent of survivors suffer debilitating long-term effects, including brain damage.

Meningococcal diseases that would be prevented by the vaccine tend to be more prevalent in the adolescent population, but only about half of North Carolina’s teens are vaccinated against them.

The following physicians in East Carolina University’s Department of Pediatrics are experts on adolescent health issues and the importance of immunizations for this population: Dr. Roytesa Savage, director of ECU’s Pediatric Outpatient Center and associate professor of pediatrics; Dr. David Holder, clinical associate professor for pediatrics; and Dr. Sharon Mangan, clinical associate professor of pediatrics.

In addition, the following ECU physicians serve on the North Carolina Immunization Advisory Committee: Dr. Karin Hillenbrand, associate professor for pediatrics and director of ECU’s pediatric residency program; and Dr. Kristina Simeonsson, associate professor for pediatrics and public health.

Jun 242014
 

College of Allied Health Sciences Dean Stephen Thomas, on behalf of East Carolina University, received a Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation from Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun during a ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek in Norfolk, Va. on June 20.

“I am truly honored to have been nominated for this reserve employer recognition by Pat Frede, our director of development and a proud Navy Veteran and Reservist. It was a privilege to tour the base in Norfolk and witness the demonstrations mostly by reservists and I am grateful to have experienced it.  This recognition is another example, in addition to the Freedom Award received by Chancellor Steve Ballard in 2010, of how ECU continues to remain a military friendly campus,” said Dr. Thomas.

(L-R) Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun with Dr. Thomas' wife, Melodie and Dr. Stephen Thomas after presenting East Carolina University with the Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hannah Brim/Released)

(L-R) Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm. Robin Braun with Dr. Thomas’ wife, Melodie and Dr. Stephen Thomas after presenting East Carolina University with the Navy Employer Support Certificate of Appreciation. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hannah Brim/Released)

The certificate is presented by the Chief of Navy Reserve annually to recognize selected civilian employers of Navy Reserve Sailors, as nominated by their own citizen-Sailor employees. Selected employers were nominated by their Navy Reserve Sailor employees.

“Employer support is critical to the Navy Reserve mission. Since 9/11, more than 70,000 Reserve Sailors have been mobilized and served around the world – many for multiple tours. In fact, in any given month nearly 25% of our Navy Reserve force is deployed globally. The magnitude of support for the employee by the employer is truly remarkable,” said Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve. “This is our opportunity to thank these outstanding patriots for their support.”

At the beginning of the day, the Chief of Navy Reserve met with Dr. Thomas and 39 other civilian employers of Navy Reserve Sailors from across the nation and presented them with a Certificate of Appreciation for their dedication and support of employees who serve in the Navy Reserve, ensuring that their Sailors are “Always Ready. Anytime, Anywhere.”

Navy Seal Demonstration

Reserve SEAL Team 18 provides a demonstration for the employers recognized June 20 in Norfolk.

Throughout the one-day event employers had the opportunity to get a close up and personal look at the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, a fast-attack submarine at Submarine Force Atlantic, the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) at Naval Station Norfolk, a static display of aircraft from Naval Air Force Reserve, and witness a demonstration by Reserve SEAL Team 18.

Companies invited to this year’s event were nominated by their employees who are also Navy Reserve Sailors. Guests included CEOs, company owners and senior executives from small, medium and large companies who encourage company leadership to promote a culture of pride and recognition in their employees’ service, value their Reserve Sailor/employee and support their service, even when called to duty on short notice, and maintain contact with the Reserve Sailor and their family members when they are on duty for an extended period of time.

“Employers are a key facet of every Reserve Sailor’s life. The service each Sailor provides to the fleet is achieved in no small part due to employer support,” said Braun. “Employer support of our Reserve and Guard forces not only means peace and freedom abroad – it means peace and freedom here at home. It can never be taken for granted. They are critical not just to our readiness, but also to our recruiting, retention and esprit de corps.”

The Navy Employer Recognition Event is an annual Navy familiarization day sponsored by the Chief of Navy Reserve to recognize employers who provide their Reserve Sailors with superior support, and provide them an opportunity to see first-hand what Reserve Sailors do every day. Selected employers are chosen from nominations submitted by their Reserve Sailor employees.